Japanese-Style Crispy Pork
- 1 pound thin-cut boneless pork chops or cutlets, trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, sake or sherry
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce (a sweet-spicy Japanese dipping sauce, sold near the soy sauce; or make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons each ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar with 1 tablespoon water.)
Season the pork with salt. Mix the rice wine and 1 teaspoon ginger and spread on the pork. Stack the pork and set aside.
Peel, quarter and seed the cucumbers; cut into 4-inch spears. Toss with the sugar and vinegar. Toast the pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon salt in a skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes; set aside.
Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup water in a shallow bowl. Put the panko and cornstarch in 2 separate shallow bowls. Dredge each piece of pork in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat with the panko. Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry the pork in batches until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Sprinkle the cucumbers with some of the spiced salt. Mix the tonkatsu sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a bowl. Serve the pork with the cucumbers and sauce.
Per serving: Calories 419; Fat 19 g (Saturated 5 g); Cholesterol 170 mg; Sodium 1,388 mg; Carbohydrate 29 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 30 g
Photograph by Antonis Achilleos
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